I like to believe that, on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being the most severe, I’m a 4 when it comes to giving a damn about what other people think of me. I’m not going to deny that, at times, I do worry about what others think. My profession of being an independent writer has taught me that strangers are going to judge my work, no matter how much heart and soul I put into it. I’m fine with that.
In addition, I don’t leave the house without putting on something presentable, and I don’t always say what’s on my mind—even when I know I’m right.
Of course, this is all very subjective, and I’m no expert when it comes to determining just how much or how little you give a damn about what others think. Living in today’s world has made it virtually impossible not to care; from displaying your most flattering picture on Facebook, to carefully selecting what words to string together to create the perfect status update, materialism and caring about what others think has slowly crept into the digital world—as if it wasn’t hard enough dealing with it in real life. [Read: 15 ways Facebook ruins relationships in real life]
I can’t promise that, by the end of this feature, you’re going to stop worrying about being judged. I can’t promise that you’ll be completely “cured” of your need to please others. Nor can I promise that you’ll stop giving a damn about what others think.
What I can promise you is this: by the end of this feature, you will have an idea of what you can do to change your toxic mindset. Whether you want to do it subtly or loud and proud, here are 9 quotes that can help you stop giving a damn about what people think.
#1 “If you’re busy pleasing everyone, you are not being true to yourself.” -Jocelyn Murray
The key to not giving a damn about what people think is realizing that there’s no need to please anyone but yourself. Sure, there’s a desire to make everyone around you happy, but at the end of the day, why bother? If you can’t be happy, why are you fighting a battle to make others happy?
It’s not like you’re busy saving the world and pleasing people in that sense; you’re worrying about silly things that don’t really matter. Taking on an extra load of work, just so your colleague can scamper off for happy hour isn’t making you happy, so why do it? Why put in the extra effort to please him, when you can please yourself, instead? [Read: 20 signs you’re a people pleaser and don’t realize it]
#2 “I’m not in this world to live up to your expectations and you’re not in this world to live up to mine.” -Bruce Lee
Bruce Lee was a wise man, indeed. Set your own expectations and work to fulfill them. Dump the expectations that have been set up for you by other people. I understand if you do certain things to please your parents, spouse, and friends, but at the end of the day, you’re here to live your life, not theirs.
I’m not saying walk out on your kids and mortgage and run off to the Bahamas. I’m saying choose a career path that you enjoy. Move to the country. Learn to dance. Do things that will make you happy, without compromising anyone else’s happiness. [Read: 16 reasons why you’re always being taken for granted by others around you]
#3 “The most deadly combination known to man is low IQ and high testosterone.” -Jarod Kintz
Some people give a damn about what others think because of their inflated ego. Don’t you realize how stupid it is worrying about what Tom, Dick, and Harry think of your scruffy shoes? Does it matter what Jane, Mary, and Becky think about your untouched roots?
Set your ego aside and stop worrying about what others think about you. Trust me when I say that once you exude a positive devil-may-care attitude, people will start respecting you. I don’t know how. I don’t know why. That’s just how it is.
#4 “When dealing with critics, always remember this: critics judge things based on what is outside of their content of understanding.” -Shannon L. Alder
At the end of the day, remember that there will always be people out there who will judge you simply because they don’t know any better. They will continue doing so, no matter how beautiful, chic, wealthy, and intelligent you are. You can do doing nothing more than walk down the street, and people from all directions will judge you.
Whether it’s your parenting skills, hair color, or the type of car you drive, there’s always a hater out there. Think of it this way: no matter how hard you try, you’re never going to please these people, so why bother? They don’t understand or know you, anyway, so there’s no need to give a damn what they think. [Read: 14 ways to instantly recognize fake people and stay away]
#5 “Don’t sacrifice yourself too much, because if you sacrifice too much, there’s nothing else you can give and nobody will care for you.” -Karl Lagerfeld
Stop giving a damn what people think by realizing that no matter how hard you try to please them, you’ll never succeed. As Lagerfeld said, if you sacrifice too much, there’s nothing else you can give.
Always remember that no one really cares, anyway. They may giggle at what you wear, but there’s no denying that they will feel a grudging sense of respect toward you for putting yourself out there and not giving a damn about what people think. Don’t be afraid to break free from convention and do what makes you happy. Trying too hard to be someone you aren’t has never won a friend. [Read: Why you should never make someone your priority when you’re only an option to them]
#6 “Never explain, your friends do not need it and your enemies will not believe you, anyway.” -Elbert Hubbard
Your vibe attracts your tribe, so just be yourself and you will find like-minded souls all around you. Surround yourself with people who matter and you will find that they don’t need you to impress them. They love you for who you are, and, at the end of the day, that’s what we are all striving for, right?
#7 “You can’t please everyone, and you can’t make everyone like you.” -Katie Couric
Even if you tried, you couldn’t make everyone happy, so why not just work on making yourself happy? If you’re a people pleaser, extend this to those whom you actually care about, like family and friends. Forget about the random people who are going to hate on you, anyway.
You know, deep down inside, that they’re not worth the time of day. Slice the toxic people out of your life and you will find it easier to move on from the all-encompassing sense of giving a damn about what others think. [Read: 16 attention whore signs to watch out for in people around you]
#8 “Live life to the fullest and focus on the positive.” -Matt Cameron
Once you learn how to focus on the positive things in life, you will find it easier to be carefree. Instead of nitpicking about how your hair looks or how many designer shirts you have, look at the bigger picture; you’ll discover that the little things don’t really matter anymore.
For example, think of the values that you’re passing on to your kids. When they see you splashing $2000 on a handbag, just so you can impress the materialistic whores in your life, what message are you sending to them? When your kids see you complaining that your car isn’t as nice as your neighbor’s, what are you telling them? Stop right there and start focusing on the positive things in life and you will find it easier to stop caring about what others think. [Read: 13 little ways to stop obsessing over silly, materialistic things]
#9 “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.” -Martin Buber
Travel far and wide, and you will realize how petty and insignificant some of your problems are. The world is your oyster and all her problems and joys are perfectly encapsulated within a shell, just waiting for you to discover them.
Travel to Armenia to meet the shepherds who are struggling to get by. Go to Macedonia and speak to the Syrian refugees fleeing from their war-torn country. Go to Congo and lend a hand protecting gorillas in the wild.
[Read: 12 insightful lessons that’ll help you have a much better life]
No matter what you do and where you go, you will find that, in the grand scheme of things, there are far graver problems than yours going on in the world. Eventually, you will understand how truly easy it is to stop giving a damn about what others think—because honestly, no one gives a damn that you give a damn, anyway.
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